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Head of the River Race 2008

Saturday 15th March

Previous event: Cardinals Regatta - Following event: Easter Training Camp

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Andrew Ho, 2: Phil Bateman, 3: David Hardeman, 4: Ed Day, 5: Will Kerr‑Muir, 6: Ben Evans, 7: Chris Baker, Stroke: David O'Brien, Cox: David Jones

63rd out of 97 S3 VIIIs in 20 mins 23.1 secs; 253rd overall

David O'Brien reports:

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Lovely day for it. The forecast had been pretty miserable and we were expecting poor river conditions and rain. Turned out to be wrong on both counts. The Thames was very well behaved and I imagine this favoured crews who were more used to flat water (ie us). Also, the sun made an appearance and I even managed to top up my stupid all-in-one tan lines.

Unfortunately, our race didn't go too well. The cox box died halfway through and a combination of inexperience over long distance and perhaps a fitness shortfall saw the rate steadily decrease throughout the remainder of the course. Subsequent pushes, rate changes etc were unproductive and surprisingly painful for stern four as the guys in bow had no idea they were happening. We slogged on and felt utterly knackered as we crossed the line, mostly for the wrong reasons. A shame given the ideal conditions. Had we been at full bumps strength and had a good row with no equipment failures, I think a finish somewhere inside the top 200 would have been more representative. Oh well, plenty of room to knock a few more positions off next year.

Despite the result, I think we all had a reasonably fun trip. An inept Christchurch cox and the usual banter kept us amused during the epic marshalling. Thanks to Dave and Will for providing transport. Fingers crossed for third time lucky as far as HORR is concerned.

Uploaded Wednesday 19th March, 12:04

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Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 13 photos of this crew)